I’m always encouraging students to find something personal in their music—something from their own lives and experience. Often, they look at me like I have lobsters crawling out of my ears. But, I made this practice chart, they say. Should I use my third finger here? Why doesn’t (name your pianist here) follow the dynamics . . . → Read More: PA Shorts: On Forging A Personal Musical Connection
Antimatter: Any substance that, when combined with an equal amount of matter, results in the complete and direct conversion of all substance to energy. (WhatIs.com)
Anti-Masterclass: Any masterclass that, when combined with an equal part of input from all participants, results in the complete and direct conversion of all playing to energy and artistry.
I . . . → Read More: The Anti-Masterclass
“You can’t fill up when you’re holding your breath. And writing is about filling up, filling up when you are empty, letting images and ideas and smells run down like water—just as writing is also about dealing with the emptiness.” (Ann Lamott)
I like the part about letting ideas and smells run down like water. . . . → Read More: PA Shorts: Boundaries
The following is a portion of a speech I gave last Saturday at the local kick off for the National Veterans Creative Arts Competition. I was asked to speak, to those interested in entering and the local auxiliary who sponsors entrants, on my passion for music and give them some words of advice. The word . . . → Read More: A Personal Lesson In Promise
“Whoa! Not many people could pull that dress off,” I thought as I gazed at the pictures on Pinterest. The dress was low cut and red, with the bodice made entirely of roses. Next to it, was a short dress of ivy and pink roses. As I scrolled down I saw many variations . . . → Read More: Rocking Piano Down The Runway
Last Thursday, film critic Roger Ebert lost his long battle with cancer. I was listening to a Fresh Air interview by Terry Gross and was struck by the following:
I went to see “La Dolce Vita” by Fellini, and that movie has been a touchstone for me, because when I saw it in 1960, there . . . → Read More: PA Shorts: As Time Goes By
Tomorrow evening is our EAC Piano Recital. We always try to do something to make the evening special for both the performers and the audience. This spring, we decided to choose quotations to project behind each pianist as they perform. There were no limits on the origin of the quotation. The only stipulation was that . . . → Read More: Matching Quiz
It’s good for your health as a musician to be in the company of other good musicians. I don’t think I could really exist as a musician without that.
And, pianist Shai Wosner practices what he preaches! He is currently off an a European tour playing trios by Haydn, Beethoven, and Schubert . . . → Read More: Artist Portrait: Shai Wosner
“Wow !” I said, “You are like a different pianist!” And she was. Before, there had been surges and awkward accents in the opening to her Intermezzo, impossible to remove despite hard work on both of our parts. Now, after one week on meds for ADHD, there was a beautiful calm flow and elegance about . . . → Read More: Vintage PA: What’s On The Inside
“You’re a romantic!” said my teacher in a surprised voice, as though this explained everything he found perplexing about me. I had never been accused of being anything but a pianist—romantic or no. I can’t remember what I was playing and it wasn’t necessarily meant as a compliment, though for some reason I felt a . . . → Read More: Vintage Post: A Romantic Accusation
One of my Facebook friends recently shared a few words of advice to aspiring musicians by pianist, singer, songwriter, and producer, Ben Folds. This earthy collection of thoughts struck a chord with me. Also, I find it entertaining and awesome that he wrote it while on a flight to Boston.
The advice applies to . . . → Read More: PA Shorts: Opportunity Knocks
Some thoughts for my student as she prepares for a competition…
Welcome to the next step of your personal musical journey. You will meet some colleagues who are musically much more mature and experienced than yourself. You will also meet those who are less experienced and mature. You have to be strong enough to be . . . → Read More: Thoughts On An Upcoming Competition
It’s that time of year again—time for the college fall recital. We always try to do something unique and different (put on a show) so that the audience is glad they came and the performers have something to focus on besides just getting the notes right.
In the past, our programs have included dueling piano . . . → Read More: PA Shorts: Sound Images